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“Evil flourish where good wo/men do nothing” – a paraphrase of one of my favorite sayings.  When I think of my district, FL 22 (teabagger extraordinaire Allen West’s district), for some reason, that’s the phrase that comes to mind. Imagine waking up one day to Rick Scott AND Allen West … welcome to FL 22.

As an aside, we currently have two Democratic candidates vying for West’s seat.  I say currently, not because there will be a primary, but because we MAY have a division of boundary lines within the district, and our two candidates will no longer have to compete against each other, and may well be able to support each other in different races.  Time will tell how that scenario plays out… (fingers crossed for best case scenario).

I realize I am preaching to the choir here when I say that we are living in a time when people have lost all faith and confidence in government (at all levels, not just inside the beltway).  People are fed up with what they view as a very corrupt system, of watching the 99% slowly circle the toilet bowl while the government holds the flushing handle down while yelling that it’s our fault for being in the toilet in the first place, and watching old guard politicians - who are completely disconnected from their constituents and the very real, daily problems we collectively face – tell us that we’re actually to blame for the mess we’re in.  We are all looking for someone new, refreshing, dynamic, and a true progressive.  Someone who truly wants to BE the change…

Meet Patrick Erin Murphy (and here's his ActBlue link).

A few things I should tell you while introducing Patrick. I’m a long-time Kossack.  I’m also a threat to the gene pool, the Constitution isn't for me, and I'm just not a good person, at least according to West.  While it may seem like I’m making this up, those are actual quotes from the man purportedly representing me in my district, the tea party darling and generally misogynistic anti-Muslim right-wing demagoguing extremist, Allen West.  

About Patrick – while I invite you to visit his website to learn more about him, I’ll give you a brief overview of this very qualified and refreshing candidate’s creds…

First, Patrick is from Florida – born in the beautiful Florida Keys and raised in South Florida.  While going to college, he spent much of his time as a day laborer on construction sites.  He earned dual Bachelor’s Degrees from the University of Miami (CANES!) in accounting and finance.

After graduating, Patrick joined Deloitte & Touche, where he served as an external auditor of Fortune 500 companies.  He is also co-chair of Coastal Cares, which guides the firm's projects for and large contributions to local and regional charities, such as the Boys & Girls Club of Broward County, United Way, Camillus House, and Education Fund/Teach-A-Thon.

Patrick currently serves as Vice President of Coastal Environmental Services, which specializes in disaster relief and environmental cleanup.  Last year, Patrick spent 6 months in the Gulf of Mexico leading the company’s efforts to remove oil spilled during the BP disaster.  Coastal Environmental is an affiliate of Coastal Construction, one of the leading construction firms in the country which has been named one of the nation’s top “Green Contractors."   And, he’s young … 29.  So he’s also very ambitious and very driven.

On the issues, Patrick is truly dedicated to progressive values – equal rights for ALL (he’s a strong supporter of gay rights and their right to marry), of a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her body and reproductive choices, and protecting Social Security and Medicare.  He’s a staunch advocate for energy independence and green technologies.  He wrote a diary recently regarding his opposition to the NDAA.  He strongly believes in protecting Israel and its right to peacefully exist.  And in the need to end the war in Afghanistan and bring our remaining troops home.  I could go on, but Patrick’s website does a far better job of conveying Patrick’s stand on the issues than I’m doing here.

Patrick’s communication’s director, Brian Franklin, is an experienced campaigner, having worked with Ron Klein, Robert Wexler, Ted Deutch and Alan Grayson (another crushing loss).  I spoke to him at length about Patrick and he said what struck him about Patrick is his honesty – just a real down-to-earth, straight shooter. Very progressive, intelligent and knowledgeable.  Brian described him as tireless, motivated and relentless.  That he’s a good speaker, an even better listener, and should do extremely well against Allen West in the general election.  

I had the opportunity to speak to Patrick myself, and I can tell you that Brian was right.  Very unassuming – very knowledgeable, well spoken, and easy going.  He wasn’t campaigning to me or trying to sell me – he was just talking, telling me about himself and why he’s running.  This isn’t personal for him – he truly wants to BE the change. He wants to right what he sees as so many wrongs, to better our community and our country.  He fears for the future and doesn’t want to just sit around and complain about it.  He wants to work to change it, to solve problems, to fix what’s broken.

He told me he’s gotten some calls from some folks in this district who supported and voted for Allen West, and are registered Republicans, but who now realize the error of those votes and are throwing their support behind Patrick.  And Brian shared that, although Patrick’s family are Republicans, they supported Alex Sink (v. Rick Scott).  So there’s lots of discontent within the GOP here locally, and I think Patrick will be a candidate that appeals to many disillusioned Republicans, particularly moderates, as well as Independents who look at Allen West and simply shake their heads, wondering WTF.

I asked Patrick for a parting thought before we ended our conversation, to sort of sum up his reasons for running for FL 22 – he said that he feels our country is at a tipping point, that it really has become the 99% v the 1%, and that he’s ready and willing to work hard and put his ass on the line (that’s a direct quote).  He impressed me, and I hope he impresses you.  If he does, throw a few bucks his way.

Credo and Kos are starting a campaign (many of you likely got the email) about taking on the Tea Party Ten – I don’t know if the list has been finalized yet, but there’s a strong possibility that Allen West will be on that list.

Patrick Erin Murphy, ActBlue, and Facebook.
(I'm not great at tagging, so if you have a suggestion for tags to add, let me know - thanks)

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Comment Preferences

  •  As someone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    legalchic

    That lived in the 22nd district most of my life and still lives in south Florida, I must say I have never heard of the guy.  

    Also, touting his Miami Hurricane connections isn't necessarily a good thing.  This district is populated by exponentially more UF alums and FSU alums that couldn't get into UF :)

    All that being said, I was hoping someone else would jump in the primary race against Lois Frankel.  She isn't a particularly strong candidate in any way, and has no name recognition in Broward county.  Plus, her loss to Alcee Hastings in the Democratic primary decades ago doesn't bode well for her.  Additionally, I know many in Palm Beach County that are just tired of her and want someone else.  

    What are Mr. Murphy's progressive credentials?  We need someone that isn't just slightly better than a generic Republican (Allen West is obviously in his own stratosphere of odiousness).

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

    by dankester on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 08:54:28 AM PST

    •  :-) (0+ / 0-)

      I'm a CANE fan ... gotta give my Canes props!

      I've asked the campaign to weigh in and comment directly - it probably won't be till later, but please check back.  I could tell you what I know/think, but I think it's more appropriate if they answer you directly ...

      I agree about Lois. She's a part of the established political system that so many people are pushing against and I don't think particularly strong either.  I don't want to down talk her, I just think of her as a career politician and not as strong on the issues.  and if it does come down to Patrick or Lois v. West, I think Patrick has a much better chance of winning the general and really beating West.

      I was thrilled when I discovered Patrick's candidacy, and when I started to investigate, I was even more thrilled... he's a good guy.  

  •  West Could be in trouble (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wanda517, legalchic, mdmslle

    All of the proposed congressional maps have CD-22 moving anywhere between 7 and 8 percentage points more Democratic.

    While the Broward Republican Party has panicked and sent a letter to the legislature trying to improve this district, they can't really couch it in terms of trying to protect West's district, since protecting incumbents while drawing districts is now prohibited by the FL constitution.

    It would appear that the legislature has decided to protect their GOP interests in Palm Beach county and leave West hanging.

    It couldn't happen to a nicer guy!

    A fool will lose tomorrow reaching back for yesterday.

    by kansasr on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 09:24:29 AM PST

    •  Which bodes really well ... (0+ / 0-)

      for both candidates (I prefer Patrick, but I'd be happy if they BOTH ran and won in separate races).

      There's a lot of grumbling in the GOP down here.  Even my diehard Faux Snooze Nation GOOPers don't like him.  They say they won't vote for him again.  Whether that translates into votes for Patrick v. not voting at all, remains to be seen...

  •  From Patrick Murphy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    legalchic

    First, many thanks to legalchic for taking the time to talk to me and for writing such a comprehensive piece.  

    I was asked about my progressive credentials.  As someone that is new to politics, I naturally don't have a voting record.  However, I cannot wait to get to Congress to be a strong vote and voice for progressive causes such as abortion rights, gay marriage and healthcare.  I am also anti-war, pro-workers rights, feel strongly about protecting our natural resources, and recently came out strongly against the detainee provisions (indefinite detention) in the NDAA.  

    The proof is in our actions - and I recognize the natural (and appropriate) skepticism that exists in response to self-proclaimed progressives.  How I say I will vote is important - but  how I actually vote is what will really matter to most of you.  All I can tell you is that I will not let you down, and in the meantime, I hope that you will consider my stances on the issues, and the importance of removing Allen West in November.

    - Patrick Murphy

  •  Great diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    legalchic

    I don't dislike Lois Frankel but I would definitely prefer Patrick Murphy.

  •  Our winter home (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    legalchic

    and while we vote in MI-1, we volunteer a lot down here. West is the worst character possible. It is hard to imagine him getting elected here. But I know for a fact that significant portions of our minority community simply thought that since he was black he was progressive. He avoided any flyers with positions in that area of the district.

    This community pretty much hates him, although I did hear from a group of older Jewish women that he was a "slick talker." We'll have our walking shoes ready.

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Wed Jan 18, 2012 at 05:21:58 AM PST

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